Indian scholar meets Saudi officials over new labour policy

Jeddah, April 27 (IANS) Sheikh Abu Baker Ahmed, general secretary of the All India Sunni Jamiathul Ulama, has met top Saudi officials to highlight concerns over the fate of Indian workers because of that country’s new labour policy.

The Nitaqat law that is being implemented makes it mandatory for all Saudi companies to reserve at least 10 percent of jobs for Saudi nationals.

Ahmed met Saudi Deputy Labour Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani and director of labour affairs Ahmad Humaidan recently and spoke of the long relationship between India and Saudi Arabia and the role of the Indian community in building Saudi Arabia.

Ahmed sought more time for Indian workers not working under sponsors to correct their status and simplify procedures so that they can change their professions, Arab News reported Saturday.

On his part, Humaidan said that Indians would not be adversely affected by the Nitaqat programme.

Ahmed also asked them to help “huroob” violators – workers running away from their sponsors – so that they can leave the country during the current amnesty period or seek new jobs in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere.

The deputy minister assured Ahmed that he would ask the minister of labour to solve these issues amicably, the report said.

Ahmed also met prince Khaled Al-Faisal during his trip.

There are around 1.8 million expatriate Indians in Saudi Arabia, many of them blue collar workers

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